We are all going to fall short. We are going to have some bitter losses, very painful defeats and failures. We have to use those to come back even stronger. That's what makes it sweeter, when we can overcome those and figure out a way to win. The great teams can do that, and those are the gold medal winning teams.

— Karch Kiraly

The most contentment Karch Kiraly quotes that are simple and will have a huge impact on you

Practice like it's competition and compete like it's another day on the practice court.


No volleyball play can begin without a serve, and the serve is the only technique that is totally under your control. In other endeavors, you cannot succeed without believing in yourself, and that belief is completely under your control.


Not everything you're going to do in volleyball - or in life, for that matter - is exciting or fully functional, but if you have the willpower to make each minute count, you'll benefit in some way. And it will make you a better player and a better person in the long run.


It's hard to give a career like this up, when I tell my wife I'm going to the office, and it's the beach.


I never did. I only prepared to win the next day.


When you’ve done everything you can to train yourself for competition, you’ll sleep well when the tournament is over, win or lose.


There's nothing worse than the feeling of wishing you had another chance at a play because you weren't ready. Every athlete has those feelings to mull over, and over and over ... Don't even expose yourself to the possibility to being caught off-guard. —


I had four different colors of hats, one of which was pink.

I just got on a roll with the pink hat. So what started out as a superstition grew into a tradition and an easy way for my family to find me at tournaments because I am the only one with cojones big enough to wear a pink hat.


I didn't want to use anything as a crutch and ever have excuses heading into a match.


The indoor game is much more of a team game, having to work effectively with a group of 15 to 20 people, striving to improve every day, every drill, even every contact. The beach game is much more of an individual game within a team sport, much less about organized practices with coaches and much more about just playing the game.


Most people put a hat and glasses on to go incognito. I take them off.


Physically I'm not as strong as I was, but I try to make up for it mentally.

It's a big challenge, and I relish it, competing with guys half my age.


About Karch Kiraly

Quotes 38 sayings
Profession Olympic athlete
Birthday November 3, 1960

My dad was a really intense competitor and that rubbed off on me.

He was loud and vocal on the court, so I let him do all the talking. But I developed a kind of quiet intensity that I knew I had to have to improve and compete with grown men. It took every ounce of focus.


I want to be as self-reliant as possible and do it all from within.


We play at the world's most beautiful beaches but in the world's most challenging conditions. It is not like you play one match and you go back to air conditioning. We do it all day long.


It's the best. And the job site isn't too bad, either.


I was fortunate to start the sport at a young age.

I was 6 years old when my dad started teaching me. We started playing tournaments together when I was 11, in the lower ranking of beach volleyball in California. We weren't playing against kids; we played against grown men, so immediately, I had to raise my game to compete.


I don't have to get myself pumped up or calm myself down.

As we get into the later rounds of a tournament and there is more at stake, I have even more adrenaline. If we make the finals, it's just an extra opportunity to win a tournament at my age. That doesn't come along that often.


It was really an exciting time trying to find my way from being a boy to becoming a man—being toe to toe and eye to eye with grown men, even though I was only 11 or 12.


When I was on the U.S. men's indoor team, I was on the road 200 days of the year and sometimes in the worst conditions. We didn't have the food or luxuries we wanted. We didn't have a laundry service. So every night after the match, I soaped up my uniform in the shower. I learned to rely on outside things as little as possible, whether it was music or massage. I just got out of the habit of relying on outside things.


A lot of guys are out there with their iPods. I'm not one of them. I just never really got into it.


I have adrenaline going and then focus on what I have to do and do it well.

I know we'll have a good chance to win the match that way. I don't concern myself with the other team.


I had a bunch of different colored hats I wore.

When I started wearing a pink one, we won five or six tournaments in a row, so I stuck with it. It started as superstition and now it's tradition—my hideous trademark that I always wear.


The first thing I do when I get there—like all of the players on tour—is apply sunscreen. One of the few hazards of the job is the wear-and-tear our skin takes from the sun.


The exercises helped get the flexibility back in my ankle and also increased my overall flexibility. As I was getting into my 30s, I wanted to do everything I could to improve my longevity.


It's a serve and pass game.


Playing against better competition makes you better and more focused, so you can do what you have to, to win.


I thank my dad for my mental longevity and for the fact we played against better competition.


Volleyball is not like a formula so we must give players some freedom.


One of the best ways to [improve my longevity] that is to minimize injury or avoid it by being more flexible—especially when we are meeting at the net. There is a hitter and blocker, which means a lot foot contact, where you can twist your ankle easily.


I just think about what I am doing on my side of the net, which requires focus.

Even after all the years I've been playing, I still get butterflies before each match.


I couldn't be messing around and acting like an 11-year-old if we expected to compete well. I wanted to compete well, because it was great to see the looks in the eyes of men—like, "Wow, I am having a hard time beating this kid."


When I warm up now though—especially on center court—there is usually music playing, so I don't really mess with music.


I still get excited just attending a final four, because the process is so long, so arduous, so challenging, that when it finally arrives, the adrenaline can't help but take over. I love the sense of accomplishment and camaraderie that the indoor game can engender.


I played a kid's game, I got to do it at the beach, and I was able to support my family. I consider myself incredibly lucky.


The beach game taught me great lessons about how to elevate the play of my teammate, or teammates, and how to anticipate and expect the ball so much more than the indoor game ever could. It taught me - even forced me - to be a much better all-around player. That allowed me to help our USA Olympic Team in many more ways than I ever could have otherwise.


How much we have to hydrate out here in this kind of heat and humidity.

I think the most I have ever taken down in one day of fluids is five gallons - a gallon per match. If we didn't replace our fluids, we would probably keel over and die.